Writing For Myself.

Back when I started blogging a few years ago, I started writing my blog out of boredom. I love writing and I have always loved reading blogs so I just wanted to give it a go. My blogging was inconsistent and didn’t really have a theme. I’ve been blogging for six months now, fairly consistently despite my recent 2 month absence. I have still been writing up posts just not posting them.

The reason being related to a post I wrote last week about being more honest  and I briefly said that the lack of honesty is why I hadn’t posted in a while. When I started this blog back up this year I knew that I wanted to talk about the things I love. And I have, but it still doesn’t feel true to who I am. To be completely honest with you, I got sucked into checking my stats all the time to see if people were actually reading. Over the last two months I have been thinking a lot about what I want to post and who I actually want to read it (not that I don’t appreciate those who have read my blog thus far, believe me, I do).

I would like to be able to write posts on subjects which I am passionate about, and I am passionate about a lot of different things and I have a lot of opinions. I would like to be able to write about them confidently and share with my readers what I think. I’ve always been afraid of writing posts like these because I don’t want people to think that I think I am always right or that I think my views are the only views that matter. I want to feel free to write about the things I love, the things which have helped me and made me who I am. The things that I believe could be helpful in someway to someone else. I don’t want to write posts which people are only reading to fill their time. I want to write posts which have something you can take away with you and use in your life. Or at least think about.

So from here on out, my posts will be a little different. If you don’t enjoy them then feel free to unfollow. I will still be talking about beauty products occasionally because I love to! But I will also be talking about things that I think are important. I know not everyone will agree with me. That’s perfectly OK. In fact that’s great! I want to learn what YOU think and what YOU know.

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The Creative Blogger Award.

This was the first award I’ve been nominated for and I thought it would make a good light read. Thank you to fightalone for nominating me! I was also nominated by justsahee.blogspot.co.uk so thank you also for thinking of me! It’s still weird to me that other people are reading my blog. I’m also sorry that it has taken me around a month to get this out and posted! I’m still trying to figure out my blog posts and schedules and I think I’m finally getting something done about them!

Here are the rules for this award:

1. Nominate 15-20 blogs and notify the nominees.

2. Post the link of the blog that nominated you.

3. Share five random facts about yourself.

I nominate the following:

lilrant

Alice’s Wonderland

missamrunaway

organicbynerve

pinkgirlgreyworld

desire4beauty

mrsdimplesbeauty

thislittlediary

delveintodem

cremesheen

thepinkimpact

rachel ellis fashion and beauty

somedaysunny

When I was choosing bloggers I tried to choose those who hadn’t done it before, but if you have and I’ve nominated you then I am sorry! I love all of these bloggers, they’ve all got amazing blogs, it’s awesome to be part of a community of people who are all doing their own thing but are also supportive of everyone else.

Here are 5 random facts about me –

 1) My last name is Gentleman, it’s pretty unique. When I tell people they tend to ask me if I’m telling the truth or not, but yes! It really is my last name.

2) I practise meditation every day, my dad introduced me to meditation and Buddhism and I’ve been practising for almost a year now.

3) I am one of 6 children, I have two brothers and 3 sisters.

4) I’ve been and Auntie since I was five years old, my oldest niece is almost 13!

5) I love Art, I’m pretty creative and I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember but I haven’t done so much since leaving school.

I hope those were some interesting facts. I haven’t done many personal posts yet here on my blog so I thought a short personal post would be nice, for you all to get to know me a bit better.

creativeblogger

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Touring London.

Hello everyone! It’s so good to be blogging again! I’ve missed it the last week. I took a break because I was unsure of where my blog was going and what kind of posts I wanted to get out there. But there is nothing like coming back on a fresh week and talking about something that you love! I’m always afraid that my posts are becoming lackluster and that my heart isn’t in it but then I find something I love to talk about and I get excited again.

Living just North of London means that it’s only a 40 minute train journey away and it means visiting as often or as little as I want. The train can be expensive for the day though unless you have a specific place to go and are staying for your time in London. I always get confused with the underground and am never sure which zone I need (if you have been to London I’m sure you’ll know what I mean).

This weekend my parents were taking my two oldest nieces to a day out in the city and they kindly invited me and my sister along! I love spending time with my family so I didn’t want to decline.

Since it was my nieces first time in the London, my parents decided to take them on a tour bus around, showing all the tourist sites. I’ve been to London a few times and seen all of them but it was still fun to go around and see it on a tour bus and showing my nieces around.

Here are some of my photographs from the day, most of these were taken on my phone because I dropped my camera and for the whole day I refused to use it in case I found that it was broken so it stayed in my sisters bag for the rest of the day. I tested it when we got home and to my relief it wasn’t broken, phew.IMAG1824a We used a company called Golden Tours  but there are loads to choose from, this one was significantly cheaper. Most of the companies offer a hop-on hop-off service, which means for a certain time period, you get to use the buses around London, getting off at whichever stop you like and then getting on again wherever you like. This company also have a boat trip included in the price and other companies you had to pay extra for the boat ride. Or you can stay on the bus and not worry about a ride across the Thames! We started at Trafalgar square and as you can see it was absolutely packed. It was a pretty nice day so I guess everyone had the same idea. I’ve been to Trafalgar square in the pouring rain and even during the Winter and it has always been busy. I’m yet to see it empty. IMAG1825a We then got onto the tour bus and they gave us headphones so that we could plug them in and then listen to a tour guide, which explained a lot of the buildings, with lots of facts about The Great Fire of London and The Blitz during world war 2.

Some tour bus selfies for your viewing pleasure.IMAG1828a

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I was just trying to give myself a halo using the sun rays (which I was being blinded by) and then I realised I was taking a selfie with a tourist. Smile!

London has a mixture of old and new buildings. The majority of the more modern buildings are covered in completely glass windows whilst the older buildings are more Gothic. Some of the buildings used to be warehouses. They are now mostly offices or have been converted into businesses.IMAG1836aIMAG1838aIMAG1844aIMAG1854a IMAG1861a Then of course you have the buildings and attractions which London is famous for.

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Because you can get on and off the buses as you like during the day, it makes it easy to walk around and see everything a lot better. You can get off at all the major attractions so you don’t have to worry about finding them yourself and you can get right back on in the same place. It also means you can get off and grab lunch wherever you want!

After we were done with the tour, we went down Oxford Street and looked in a few of the shops. But it was so busy and it was hard work just walking down the street. In Oxford Street you’ll find The Body Shop, Zara, Next, New Look, Debenhams, John Lewis, Selfridges, River Island etc. and the worlds worst Primark I have ever been in. I never want to go in there again!

If you’re thinking of going to London but are not sure if you’d like to go on a tour or not then I recommend it. If you’ve never been to London before then it can be a great way of showing you round before you start venturing out on your own. It’s also good for getting around since you can get on and off whenever. Plus it’s a quick way to see all of the sights during the day, if you’re not in London for a long stay.

If you would like to see more pictures from the day then you can find them on my Flickr here.

One more thing, my little sister finally put out her first blog posts so you can go and check them out and follow her blog here!

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End Of May Haul.

Now, I don’t plan for these to be monthly feature on my blog but apparently I can’t help spending my money so here is another Haul for you all, because I’m sure you haven’t read enough of these already. I literally can’t believe it has only been a month since my last haul, I have a serious problem developing!

I went into town and ended up spending even more of my money because I just couldn’t help myself. I also bought myself some things because it is my sister’s birthday on the 1st and I ordered her some real techniques eye brushes (I’ve already given them to her so don’t worry, I haven’t ruined the surprise) and of course I had to treat myself too.

The first things I bought this month along with my sister’s birthday present were the EcoTools Six Piece Essential Eye Set and the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge. I would always consider buying and put them in my shopping bag but never actually go through with it because I was never sure if they would be worth it.

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I really love the idea of EcoTools brushes. I love the bamboo handles, I think they look really beautiful and I love that they’re recycled so they’re great for the environment. These brushes are so soft. I have other brushes but I think these are softer as well as super affordable. I’m excited to try them and see how they fare out.

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We’ve all heard a lot about the real techniques sponge and how it is a dupe for the beauty blender, which I don’t have because it always seemed ridiculously overpriced for a sponge and I’ve always preferred using brushes. But I thought I would give it a go and see if it was worth the hype. I haven’t used it yet but it feels super soft but also pretty durable so I’m actually pretty excited about it.

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I then when to town and spent a whole lot more money, which wasn’t my intention but I just cannot help myself! I was doing great until we went into Superdrug and I caved. I picked up The Nudes Palette by Maybelline New York. I’ve seen a lot of posts on this and the L’Oreal Paris La Palette Nude. Which I almost got as well but they only had the Rose version and since I just bought the Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette I didn’t really think I needed it. Even if I felt like I did I was trying to be responsible. I’m really intrigued by this palette as it has quads, trios and duos. It’s really well thought out and would be a great beginning palette as all of the instructions are clear on the back. It was on offer for 2 for £10 as well which is awesome and I’m so impressed by the affordability plus it has some really pretty neutral colours with a mix of matte and shimmer shadows.

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I then went into Boots. Is anyone else’s Boots and Superdrug right next door to each other? It’s like a recipe for disaster every time I’m in town. I went in looking for a new mascara and I went straight to the Bourjois counter, because they have my favourite mascara and I picked it up. Bourjois always has a 3 for 2 offer so I thought I would take advantage of it. It’s the Volume Glamour Mascara Ultra Volumateur in Noir Ébéne 06. It is great for volume and one I keep going back to. I also recommended it to my sister and she loves it as well. We’ve both been using it for a long time now.

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I wanted to get the Sleek Blush By 3 but I couldn’t find it in Superdrug so I hunted all of the make-up stands in Boots looking for a new Blush. My favourite is by Revlon but I wanted to try something new. Then I remembered that Esté from Essie Button had talked about the blushes by Bourjois, so I had a look. I decided to go for their blush in 48 Ashes of Rose. It’s a super pretty matte rose-pink.

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The last thing I bought was the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Gel Foundation in 51 Light Vanilla. I already have the Healthy Mix Foundation and it is my favourite. I have used the Serum before but wanted to go back to it.. I got this a shade lighter than the foundation which I already have because it is better suited to my skin tone even though with the darker shade there is not much difference and it’s not noticeable by anyone else but me. My skin loves this stuff, it really is hydrating and if you have problems with dry flaky skin then this is a great foundation!

That’s it for my haul today and I really am hoping these don’t become a monthly feature because my bank is probably going to hate me! I accidentally dropped my bank card behind my chest of drawers and I still managed to spend my money so even taking my card away from me doesn’t help! I hope you enjoyed reading this, if you have made it this far! I love reading hauls because it’s always interesting to see what other people are buying.

Don’t forget to follow me on the social media below! I recently reached 1000 followers on Twitter and 500 on Instagram which is pretty cool and I love following other bloggers and seeing what they’re up to and getting to read their posts first when they tweet about them. Plus, bloggers always have the prettiest Instagram photos! I need to up my game!

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Having A Bad Week.

Last week was bloody awful. Definitely not one of my favourites. I have no reason for having a bad week though. It started off as just feeling super tired and wanting to sleep in, but by the end of the week I didn’t want to get out of bed or talk to anyone. I wasn’t inspired by anything, which you may have read about or noticed in my Photographers Gallery  post and I just felt like nothing was going the way I wanted it to. Of course I did get up and dressed because I knew I’d only feel worse if I stayed in bed all day. I tried talking myself out of it and even talking to someone else about it. But nothing was working and by the end of the week I had had enough. It was time to pull myself out of my weird little funk.

So, I spent an entire day doing nothing. Well, not exactly doing nothing, just taking the time to rejuvenate. Pull myself together. Let myself feel crappy for one last day and get it out of my system. So if you’re in a weird funk and everything seems to be getting you down, I’m going to share with you my favourite things to do which help me feel better and I hope that it gives you some ideas for when you’re having a bad day/week.

Here’s what I did:

The first thing I did was get changed. Out of my pyjamas and into some jogging bottoms and a clean t-shirt. You can stay in your pyjamas if you like. it doesn’t matter, you’re probably not going anywhere. I cleansed my face and brushed my teeth to make myself feel some-what presentable and to feel a little fresher. Then I made my bed and tidied up a little bit. It always helps to have a tidy space to relax in because mess can be frustrating. If your space is tidy then your thoughts will be too.

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It was a rainy day so I lit a candle (Grapefruit by Yankee Candle) and made myself a cup of tea. I pulled out my Darling magazines and grabbed my favourite throw and made my bed comfortable. I like to be cosy. Darling is my favourite thing to read when I’m feeling fed up. It’s full of encouragement and inspiration for all areas of your life. It’s all positive too which makes it perfect for those not-so-great days.DSC_0086a

I’m pretty creative and I can get annoyed with myself when I’m lacking inspiration and interest in the normal things I love to do. I have a few creative books that I’ve collected over the years and they’re always my favourite things to go back to. The don’t require much thinking and just help to get the creative juices flowing.

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The Big Colour by numbers book is my favourite one to pull out. All the designs are right there for you and all you have to do is grab your pens and get started. There are a tonne of books like this going around now and they’re not expensive here are a few that I’d love to add to my collection.

The Art Therapy Colouring Book

Animal Kingdom

Mindfulness Colouring Book

You can find all of these and loads more like it here.

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Two more of my favourite creative books are these 642 Things To Draw and 712 More Things To Draw. These are great for doodling. You don’t have to be an amazing artist to have and complete these books, they’re just great if you love to draw but need a little inspiration to get started.

These kinds of books are great for unwinding. They don’t require much thinking and are great for de-stressing.

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Another thing I love to do is give myself some retail therapy. Online shopping is my favourite since it’s so quick and easy to do. I know a lot of people prefer actually going out to shop but it gives me anxiety and makes me feel rushed and under pressure to find things I like. Most of the time I am filling up my basket and not actually buying anything but since I was feeling so down I did really buy some stuff so you can expect a mini haul at some point.

At the end of the day I ran myself a bath and used my favourite products. Anything that makes you feel calm and relaxed is perfect. Aromatherapy products are awesome. If like me you have trouble sleeping then stay away from tea! Stick to decaf as an alternative or try something new like chamomile or even cherry juice.

Other things you can do which can help to make you feel better are taking walks, listening to upbeat playlists, being with friends etc. Whatever makes you feel good. It’s also important to take time away from technology, turn off your phone and your laptop. They can both be distractions from what is really important to you, once you take them away you can begin to clear your head a little better.

Often advice I see is that when you’re feeling low you should make yourself get up and out no matter how you’re feeling. In my experience though it’s not always easy and you should never force yourself to do something you don’t want to. If you need to, it’s important to take time for yourself. Don’t have a pity party but make sure you let yourself feel the things you need to feel. If you keep putting them to the side or ignoring them, they’re not going to go away. It’s OK not to be OK.

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I hope you enjoyed reading this post and have liked my advice and little tips that help with making me feel better. It took me a while to get to writing this because it seemed quite personal but I thought it was important and something that I wanted to share. If it helps me then it could help someone else.

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Skincare Routine.

I thought that since I have mentioned my favourite skincare quite a lot in recent posts that I would do a post on how I use them and all that jazz. My skincare routine is fairly simple since I am too lazy to have a full on routine, even though my skin  would probably benefit from it! I also have Birchbox to thank for sending me some awesome skincare products which have now become possible staples in my skincare routine.

All of these products have been mentioned in my Birchbox and Collective Haul Over April posts alongside some other products so if you haven’t already and would like to then please click the links to have a read!

DSC_0077AThe first thing I’ll do is remove all of my make-up using the Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser. This stuff removes my make-up like no other. I’ll apply this all over my face using circular motions and I leave my eyes until last so I don’t rub my eye make-up over my entire face. Then I’ll take the Muslin cloth and get it damp using hot water, ring the water out and then wipe it over my face. I literally have to use two swipes and my make-up has been removed! Sometimes, if I have been wearing heavy eye make-up I will use a little extra cleanser just to make sure everything is gone. This is also great to use in the morning, the tea tree makes you feel fresh and awake.

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Once my make-up has been removed I like to exfoliate. I love the Dr Jart+ Clear Away Gel. I’ll apply a small amount to my fingertips, rub together and then apply this to my face. I’ll rub it in using circular motions for about a minute and then rinse this off with cold water. I love this because you can actually see and feel it working. Afterwards your face feels super soft and clear.

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When my face has been cleansed and exfoliated, I like to take a little bit of bio oil and pat this onto my face. This helps with all sorts of stuff but I like using it because I typically have dry/normal skin type. This makes it feel moisturised and healthy and I have zero visible dry patches. Since using this I find that make-up sits a lot easier and it doesn’t sit it any creases. I don’t use this every evening because you only need a small amount and it will keep your skin hydrated for several days. A little goes a long way. My sister also uses this regularly so I haven’t been getting through this bottle alone. It also helps with dark spots and scarring, so its great to use after having a breakout. DSC_0076A

Next step is serum! Serums are so important in skincare because they add extra hydration. This one is lovely because it sinks into the skin really quickly, even after using oil, my skin drinks this stuff up! Again, I don’t use this every evening and if I’m using oil I might skip this step, or I alternate between the two. This product is so expensive so it’s only in my routine until it runs out and then I doubt I will be purchasing it, but I’ve loved using it whilst I have it and I’m trying to make the most of it!

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As I mentioned in my Haul, I have used the Simple Moisturiser for a really long time. It’s pretty lightweight and doesn’t take a long time to set. I’ll apply this all over my face and down my neck.

The Eyebalm I only use in the evenings. After a long day when my eyes are hurting from staring at a computer screen all day or if I’ve been outside and squinting from the sunshine, I love using this. It soothes my eyes and makes me feel a lot more relaxed. I tend to suffer from insomnia so this really helps when my eyes are hurting but I can’t sleep!

I’m usually super lazy when it comes to skincare so it has to be quick and effortless! What are your go to skincare products when you’re feeling lazy or if you’re in a rush?

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The Photographers Gallery

Last Thursday was one of those awful rainy days that we have here in the UK. The ones where its beautiful. sunny and warm the day before and then the next the heavens open and you remember what it’s like to be British again. Me and my Dad took our monthly trip to The Photographers Gallery to visit the new exhibition for the month. We’ll usually visit the gallery first, have some lunch, visit the bookstore and then wonder around Soho and take some street photographs.

The current exhibitions are The Chinese Photobook and DEUTSCHE BÖRSE. The Gallery is made up of Five floors, you start on the first floor and make your way up. By accident on our second visit we started at the top and worked our way down, since then this is what we’ve been doing. We love to be different. The exhibitions are separate, the third floor dedicated to the Chinese Photobook, the fourth and fifth floors dedicated to the DEUTSCHE BÖRSE photography prize. The first floor was holding a private exhibition or some sort of class, I can’t remember.

The photography prize was compiled of several runner ups and the winner will be announced on the 28th of May with a book signing on the 29th. The Photographers Gallery always pulls off the most incredible exhibitions, holding some really wonderful art. Please click here  if you’d like to read more about the artists and their displays. I won’t go into too much detail on my thoughts on each one, since there are 4 different sections to talk about.

The one that stood out most was the work of Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse.  “Their collaborative publication presents a, ‘photo/graphic’ album of images and text which uncover the history of a once elite, now abandoned high-rise apartment block in Johannesburg”. The images were heartbreaking with a contrast between the apartments before they were abandoned and after. There were also photographs of the doors, the windows and the televisons of each apartment, presented in light boxes  .

 17728005982_27065b5c6a_nDSC_0012AViviane Sassen’s display was also really interesting. I particularly like this landscape photograph with the red filter. Each individual display was interesting but the photographer’s gallery is something which is probably easier to absorb in two trips since there is often two separate exhibitions to view.DSC_0011A

After we were done in the gallery we decided to take some street photography. I really like this little shop, we didn’t buy anything in there though but they had some pretty cool stuff. Here are some of the photos I took. I took more but I wasn’t that pleased with them and I’m still feeling uninspired when it comes to photography.
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Thank you for reading!

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